Anti-Israel protesters at Paramount Midrand campus

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Paramount, an international aerospace and defence company and manufacturer with South African origins, was the target of protesters for supposedly supplying arms to Israel.

A Paramount statement has it “a group of anti-Israeli protesters gathered in front of Paramount’s Midrand campus claiming to be part of the ‘Workers in Palestine International Call to Action to stop the arming of Israel’” on 10 November. It continues: “In an anonymous statement the group of protesters, of whom many were covering their faces, alleged that Paramount is involved in ‘arming Israel and has been involved in war crimes and corruption’”.

“These allegations are false and malicious and motivated by anti-Semitism.

“Paramount has never supplied military equipment to Israel. South Africa’s arms control body, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) controls the export of all defence equipment by defence companies in South Africa. Their publicly available records can confirm the facts. We urge the protest groups to verify the facts before making any further false claims.

“For several decades the company has been a proud defence and aerospace technology partner of many Arab governments, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Oman. This information is in the public domain but the protestors choose to ignore this as it would undermine their false narrative.

“Paramount is headquartered in the UAE. There are no links between Paramount’s South African operations and the office in Israel that was established in compliance with the policy of the UAE government and as a direct result of the Abraham Accords. It is a technical liaison office with no sales function.

“Paramount is a respected and legitimate global aerospace and technology company with operations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America.  The company operates in strict adherence to both the South African NCACC and United Nations (UN) widely-recognised global arms regulations,” Paramount said.

The statement notes that Paramount founder Ivor Ichikowitz is “of Jewish faith” as the “only explanation” for it being targeted by anti-Israel protesters adding this is “blatantly and disturbingly anti-Semitic”.